Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Taking pictures is my job and it has brought me to some great places...but sometimes you have to put the camera down and have a pint and relax. We are talking about craft beer and some AMAZING local breweries doing it right!
Beer has been called many things over the ages..Pint, Suds, Brewskis, Cerveza, Libations and Barley pop just to name a few, but BEER is the classic. Beer has become a mainstay of American social culture. Think about it "let's go grab a beer'' roles off the tongue much better than "let go grab a Kettle One dirty marty with 3 olives" Although a Dirty Martini made properly is amazing in its own right...but sometimes you just want a beer, and here in New England there are no shortage of places to find some AMAZING brews! Today we are headed just north of Boston on I-95..
North of Boston Beer Trail...
Think all of the best beer is in the city...THINK AGAIN!
Yes, it is true that there are some seriously iconic beers that hail from Boston...Sam Adams and Harpoon will always be the an amazing place to start...and there will always be shelf space in the fridge...but let's go north...Shall we?
Ipswich, Newburyport and Amesbury
Let's start with Amesbury...Small little bedroom community with a raging beer scene. I guess it all started with the Ale House..its been around about 10 years..rotating taps and pub fair, it still going strong and a solid bet. www.amesburyalehouse.com
And on to the real deal..
This little gem is no joke..Brewer Jay is doing it absolutely right...This is a small open concept brewery in a historic mill building on Water Street. Really great space, all the brick and the hardwood bar are the perfect setting for the shining stainless fermenters. But the real story here is the beer..it is good!! I mean really good..borderline great..ok it's great! The best part is the variety, Jay does a great job rotating the options, brewed in smaller batches so the beer as always really fresh. In the warmer months stop in have a Sovereign Pilsner or a refreshing Radler... but my favorite summer sampling is the Brevity, a Kettle Sour...I love me some sours! This one is a true sour...delightful! None of the beers here are over the top ABV so you can have a couple or three...ahhhh with the exception of the Triple...at 9% I give you Fair Warning. Hence the name..make it your night cap! Brewery Silvaticus is a great stop for beer...go ahead and hang out in the beer garden and on Thursday nights they sport some really great eats! Thursdays are Food Truck nights!! You are likely to find Lexi's (BEST BURGER EVER!!) or Curb Appeal Meals...best street taco I have had on the east coast.. seriously! Darn..I almost forgot the beer and Yoga. Something for everyone! Brewery Silvaticus is really just an all around great place to eat and drink!
www.kerrysculinarycreations.com (Curb Appeal Meals)
BAREWOLF Brewing...Literally a 5 min walk from Silvaticus (PUB CRAWL!!)This place is fantastic..it you don't know where it is ...you might miss it..but trust me keep looking! Yes it is a little hard to find, but just follow the line of cars on an otherwise quiet Oakland Street..and you will find the parking area...and there are signs from there. Once you find this place get cozy have a beer and play some pinball. My favorite beer there is right now is Mom Jeans. This is a funky fruity beer ale with a bit of sweetness made with organic
blueberries..really good stuff. This is a true labor of love and family..Run by a father and son super team with a couple a great friends in the mix. They also support the Food Truck scene and are Kid, Family and DOG friendly.. Another Amesbury MA gem! www.barewolfbrewing.com
Newburyport and Ipswich
What's that??...you want to smell the salt air and have a beer...well both Newburyport and Ipswich also have a booming beer scene.
Newburyport Brewing Company...I am a big fan! Love the Plum Island Belgian White, but my favorite is the Greenhead IPA...it is really tasty! It comes in at 60 IBU and 7.2 ABV ...a bit if a sipping beer for me, but it really comes alive when it warms up a bit..The brewery has a great Tap room with live music Thursday thru Saturday nights from 5-8 ..they too sport the Pop-up and food truck scene...They also offer brewery tours Saturdays at 4pm..they are free. Great place to grab beer or two and listen to some really great local bands. NBPT Brew Co. also sells cans regionally. www.nbptbrewing.com
If we are hanging out in Newburyport...You can't leave town with out trying Riverwalk Brewing...by now you will need to eat and they have a great beer inspired menu(get the Train Station...Trust me!) and an awesome outdoor space with picnic tables. The beers are very well done...they have been brewing since 2012. I just loved the Turbine, it is Double IPA at 8% ABV and 40 IBU, makes the12 oz pour is just enough.. and then there is the my new favorite, the Fandango...brewed with lemongrass and black peppercorns ...oddly delicious...I liked it so much I bought a growler... They too are Kid, Family and Dog Friendly...check out whats on tap at www.riverwalkbrewing.com
...On to Ipswich we go. Ipswich Ale Brewery and the Ipswich Ale Brewer's Table. This is really a fun place..Beer is poured from the side of an old Woody (its a car...if ya didn't know already, they call them TapMobiles.) Great comfort food menu and solid beers. This is by far the most corporate (not in a bad way) of places on this beer tour and I believe that you can buy Ipswich Ale darn close to anywhere now. The beer is fresh and the bartenders are feisty and funny...and the food is really good. Brewery tours are Saturdays and Sundays on the hour starting at 1pm...last tour at 5pm. Tours are approx. 50 min long with a beer tasting at the end for those 21+ and a soda tasting for the young ones. Tours are $3 but well worth the price of admission! Highly recommend the tour and dinner as a fun date night. www.ipswichalebrewery.com
After writing this post...I need a beer! This summer...get out of town...come north..see the sites and drink some great beer!! Cheers!